tv The Ed Show MSNBC October 19, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT
i will leave with it in tact. i also cheer at the notion that even when we totally disagree, include myself very much in that we, we can still be civil, cordial, when so much matters to share an evening that not necessarily decides the fate of this world. i say this as someone who thinks this election could. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" from new york. 19 days until the 2012 election. mitt romney's son, tag, wants to take a swing at the president of the united states. the disrespect keeps coming. tonight we'll show you who should really be in a fighting mood. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> what is it like for you to hear the president of the united states call your dad a liar? >> well, jump out of your seat, you want to rush down the debate stage and take a swing at him. >> the romney campaign is laughing those comments off. the president continues to hammer his opponent. >> he took another swing at it and he -- >> tonight, michael eric dyson on the poor excuses for tagg
romney's joke. they brought us binders full of women. >> team romney tries to turn the page with women voters, but will it work? >> he totally gets working women. the plutocrats continue to strong arm their employees to vote against their best interests. we'll play you the mitt romney tape. >> nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business. the conservative meltdown over candy crowley may never end. >> he did, in fact, sir. >> can you say that little louder, candy? >> tonight, chris kofinis and ron christie on the right wing lies. >> declaring something on act of terror does not mean you're calling it a terror attack. >> this changed the debate. >> good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. the obama team showed a fighting spirit today on the campaign
trail. the president is trying to hold his lead in key battleground states including new hampshire, where he held a rally in manchester. >> 19 days, new hampshire. 19 days. in 19 days you're going to step into a voting booth and you've got a big choice to make. it's not just a choice between two candidates or parties. it's about two different visions for this country that we love. >> president knows he is in a battle in this one. the national polling average by real clear politics shows mitt romney with a one-point lead over president obama. most polls do not fully reflect public opinion since tuesday night's debate. we're going to have to wait a few days to find out exactly if the debate caused changes at all in the polling. president obama is still maintaining a lead in swing states, which is good news.
like in iowa, nevada, and ohio. the obama campaign is not leaving anything to chance. they sent the big dog to the buckeye state to help keep the state blue today. >> i want to tell you something. i love ohio. it's an old-school place. we like our families. we like our communities. we value personal loyalty. when you were down, you were out, and your whole economy was threatened, the president had your back. you got to have his back now. >> tell it like it is, bill. president clinton was joined by rock 'n' roll legend bruce springsteen. the boss told the ohio crowd why he's supporting president obama. >> the future is rarely a tide rushing in. it's often a slow march inch by inch, day after long day. and i believe we are in the midst of those long days right now. and i'm here because i believe president obama feels those days in his bones. for all 100% of us. >> springsteen talked up the president's achievements over the last four years. he makes a strong case. >> i'm thankful for universal
health care. you know, the lack of which -- the lack of which was for so long an embarrassment to our country. i'm thankful for more regulated wall street. i'm thankful gm is still making cars. >> meanwhile, the president is staying aggressive. he's telling audiences why mitt romney is digging himself deeper with a sketchy deal on the economy. >> on tuesday, governor romney took another stab at trying to sell us this $5 trillion tax cut that favors the wealthy. he took another swing at it and he whiffed. >> you may have noticed president obama's word choice there. he said romney took a swing and he whiffed. sounds like president obama was listening to mitt romney's son, tagg on conservative talk radio in north carolina. >> what is it like for you to hear the president of the united states call your dad a liar? how do you react to that? >> well, jump out of your seat, you want to race down the debate
stage and take a swing at him. you know you can't do that, first, because there's a lot of secret service between you and him, but also because this is the nature of the process. >> nature of the process to feel that way. tagg romney's brother, josh, laughed off the remark when asked about it on "the view." >> do you want to slug president obama like your brother said he did? >> that brother has slugged me a couple times. i'm sure president obama has nothing to worry about. i think that's something he was saying off the cuff. i'm sure he didn't mean it. >> the romney campaign made light of tagg romney's comment. andrea saul told "the new york times" he was joking about how frustrating this process can be for the family. oh, they're inconvenience on the campaign trail, aren't they? we've heard nothing from tagg romney. he has no apologies just like his dad. tagg romney is a not a misbehaving kid speaking out of turn but the driving force behind the romney campaign these days. after a disastrous summer
politico reported tagg romney taking a much more active role in how the campaign is run. in fact, tagg romney advised his dad to be moderate mitt during the first debate. the "washington post" says tagg romney is out on the campaign trail seven days a week. you see, tagg romney is just not some 18-year-old kid. he's a 42-year-old man and he should know better. but his comments are indicative of a larger pattern from the romney family. they represent the entitlement society. you see, they can say anything, they can do anything, disrespect anyone. they can get away with it. they're the romneys. the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree. >> you'll get your chance in a moment. i'm still speaking. that wasn't a question. >> okay. >> that was a statement. >> the next question -- >> he actually gout the first question, so i get the last question. last answer on that one. >> actually, let's speak, too, if you could, governor, the idea of self-deportation. >> let me go back and speak to the points that the president made. >> mitt romney openly disrespectful to the president of the united states and the
moderator, candy crowley, during the debate. he made his own rules, answered questions when he wanted to. not the ones that he was asked. and mitt romney has shown this type of elitist behavior his entire life. just go ask the people in freeport, illinois. those people didn't get a chance to rush the stage and take a swing at somebody who took their job. they just got fired. they got outsourced. if mitt romney becomes president, we shouldn't expect anything different. he's going to play by his own rules and he isn't going to give a damn about any american out there or what they think. that's how he is. just think about that. let's reverse the roles just a little bit. let's just play with this. let's just say that president obama has a son and president obama's son barack jr. goes on talk radio, maybe with some liberal out there and says, you know, i'd really like to take a swing at my dad's opponent, but i know i can't do it because the secret service is there.
tell me, you think bill o'reilly would do anything with that? hannity would ignore it, don't you think? "wall street journal," no, they wouldn't editorialize on that at all. they'd all just let it go. get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question. does mitt romney lack respect for the president? text "a" for yes, text "b" for no to 622639. always go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. we'll bring you the results later on in the show. joining me tonight, michael eric dyson, msnbc political analyst and professor of sociology at georgetown university. great to have you with us tonight, doctor. >> appreciate it. >> are tagg romney's comments part of a pattern? or is there overreaction on this show tonight? is there disrespect? >> it's extreme disrespect, ed. it's an incredibly consistent pattern where the romneys appear to be invincible or at least they want to portray this notion that they're somehow, you know, exempt from the rules. this is not only a class based elitist conception that i don't
have to do, play by those rules, it's a race-based one as well as you indicated there at the end because this is white male privilege run amok. this is a man who hovers over the president as if he's overseeing him, as if he actually articulates his words. he refuses to sit down. he invades his space. he tries to disrespect candy crowley and he continually repeats his lines and answers his own questions. yeah, that is a consistent pattern of bullying and now tagg, you're it. the bully doesn't fall far from the bully. this is a bullying ethic at the heart of politics in america where people believe or at least the romney family believes they can do anything, say anything, and talk about violence, this president is the most assaulted president in terms of the level of attack upon him verbally and the death threats that he receives. so this is already a highly charged atmosphere around the nation's first black chief executive officer so to speak,
and this man, tagg romney, feels the ability without compunction and without a sense of remorse to be able to say he will physically harm or wanted to physically harm the president and the only thing that held him back was the secret service. that's pretty ridiculous. >> is an apology in order? >> of course. as you already said, no apology is the role there. we know tagg romney does this on the regular. ann romney goes on "the view" to say today her husband is against embryonic research yet their son, tagg, used a surrogate mother to have a child and in that contract it was the permission for abortion should an emergency arise. so they talk a came on one end but contradicted their behavior on another end. >> tagg romney is a senior adviser in the campaign. what if a senior adviser in the obama campaign made a comment like that? is the media doing a disservice right now to the public by not calling out? i mean, tone is a big part of this election. i mean, we have got -- we're supposed to have some kind of
civility. i guess that has all left the building. but the fact is there is a pattern of disrespect. what if an obama adviser had said that about romney? what would the reaction have been? >> there would be -- there would be all the cat calls and the crocodile tears being cried by the far right. >> i mean, heck, they're upset about the moderator of a debate. what do you think they'd say about this? >> my god, they would go bananas. they would literally lose their collective minds. if barack obama jr. had said this they'd try to portray him as little wayne with a blow horn who has political pedigree who needs to be treated like he's little wayne without political pedigree. they would have seen him as an angry black man out of control. mitt romney is seen, like father, like son. they continue to intimidate and they continue to assume a certain level of privilege that is both unconscious and
unchecked. and i think that in america we need to tell the truth about what that means and we know the far right media had one of mr. obama's senior, if you will, counselors, said something similar. this would have been front page news and it would have been unending. >> going to be interesting to see the next debate on monday night just how stubborn or disrespectful mitt romney is. i don't think there will be changes in his behavior whatsoever and not going to help him in the long run. michael eric dyson. thank you so much. remember to answer tonight's question at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts on twitter @edshow and facebook. we always want to know what you think. coming up, the romney campaign still doesn't know where their candidate stands on equal pay for equal work. it's this woman thing they have a hard time with. i'll talk to nancy cohen about romney and women voters. stay tuned. coming right back. ♪
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coming up, ann romney joins the ladies on "the view" to try to clarify her husband's policies on women's issues in america. i'll talk with writer nancy cohen next. then ceos are pressuring their employees to vote for republicans this november. turns out that idea comes from the top of the gop ticket. we'll play you the tape. and the president and mitt romney will share a stage again tonight, but don't expect the heated exchanges we saw at tuesday's debate. we'll have the details. share your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter using #edshow. we are coming right back. i'm here today because i'm
i don't have to tell you the dangers to roe v. wade under our opponent's policies. >> welcome back to "the ed show." bruce springsteen, the boss, speaking out for women in ohio today. meanwhile the romney campaign sent their top surrogate to speak on women's issues on "the view." ann romney appeared mittless earlier. her husband canceled on the show earlier this week citing scheduling conflicts. so it was up to mrs. romney to deliver the campaign's message to women. >> women are going to have a choice. i mean, it's clear. if you really want to make a choice, and if those choices are about reproductive rights, that's your choice. if they're about economic issues and making a better future for your children and making sure that we have this, and that's the beauty of what we have in this country is being able to have those choices. >> well, it seems to me they want to eliminate choice. yet, romney still won't clarify where he stands on a major economic issue.
and that is equal pay for equal work. on tuesday night romney ignored a question about fair pay. he talked about binders full of women instead. former president clinton called him out on it today. >> would you sign the lilly ledbetter equal pay law? no answer. he can't even say whether he would sign a law which is already on the books. >> romney's campaign isn't helping matters, either. on tuesday, romney's senior adviser ed gillespie told "the huffington post" romney would have opposed the bill. on wednesday, gillespie corrected that statement saying romney has never held a position on the bill. hmm. today a romney aide told cbs news romney would have opposed the bill. short time later a romney aide told "the huffington post" that romney has never held a position on the bill. ed addressed this issue on the record yesterday. el gillespie, that explains our position.
confused? you're not the only one. >> i don't know why this is so complicated. governor romney still won't say whether or not he supported a law to protect that right. no matter how many times he's asked. this is not -- this is not that hard. >> let's turn to nancy cohen "playboy" magazine corrector and author of "delirium." nancy, good to have you on "the ed show" tonight. appreciate your time. >> my sound's going out. >> you bet. why can't the romney campaign, somebody give a straight answer when it comes to equal pay? >> hey, ed. great to be here with you. they can't give a straight answer because they don't have a straight answer. now, romney, i think, really doesn't believe in equal pay for women because the congressional republican delegation doesn't believe in equal pay for women. and, you know, he's a captive of
the extremist in his party. so, you know, in the last couple weeks of the election he's trying to be mr. moderate mitt, and, you know, it's a little bit too late for anyone to believe him. i mean, ann tells us. right? if you care about reproductive rights, if you care about freedom, you know how to vote. you don't vote for mitt. >> well, how much of a problem does mitt romney have with women right now? the president lost some momentum in polling with women. and maybe it will come back after all of this. what are your thoughts on that? >> it is absolutely going to come back. as soon as women get the message that romney will try to make abortion illegal, that he does not support equal pay and that he wants to not only eliminate the contraception mandate and wipe out health care reform with all those great things for
women's health, i really believe that mitt will put us on the path to a place where birth control can become illegal again in some states for some people. now, it's actually worse than it even seems to be for him, if you consider what path he's on for this. >> you think that there will be a day if he is president where birth control is illegal? >> i think there's a plausible scenario where birth control becomes illegal because romney's supreme court has overturned not only roe v. wade but has taken on the two big supreme court cases which guarantee us a right to privacy. >> sure. >> which actually guarantee our sexual freedom and our sexual rights, not just for women, but for men. and that if these cases, most importantly, griswold, is overturned at the same time roe is, then we could see birth
control outlawed for single people, certainly for minors. and if some of these personhood laws pass in the states once roe is overturned, those would make birth control illegal also. where we're going to be is kind of a condoms only contraceptive policy in parts of this country. >> and do you think mitt romney can rehabilitate himself with women voters? i mean, trust is a big issue here. no question about it. but is it just a matter of time before the numbers swing big to the president? i mean, can mitt romney rehabilitate himself with women? i mean, if they start giving the kind of answers that women want to hear? >> if women get the message, which obama is sending now, absolutely not. women are smart. we're pragmatic. you know, we want our freedom preserved. we want our rights preserved. we believe in equality. we don't want these guys taking control of our lives, telling us
what to do. >> i mean, isn't it the equal pay the most damaging of all? >> yeah, i mean, there's absolutely no reason not to support equal pay. except if you look at where these people come from, and that is the story, ed, that i tell in my book "delirium." they actually started organizing against equal pay for women, against equal rights for women and then they took it into abortion and all kinds of other sexual rights. but they really -- these people really don't believe that women are equal. they want women back in a place and time when men had control, when men had power. and women knew their place. >> nancy cohen, great to have you with us on "the ed show" tonight. thanks for joining us. up next, political pressure on the job? mitt romney thinks your boss should tell you how to vote. find out why more and more bosses are taking romney's advice. part of the plan. and later, conservative economist ben stein visits the curvy couch and says something
vote. the strong arming starts at the very top of the republican party. mitt romney held a conference call for a right wing group of businessowners back in june. the recording resurfaced this week on a website of "in these times" magazine. listen to romney's advice for these bosses. >> i hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and, therefore, their job and their future in the upcoming elections. and whether you agree with me or you agree with president obama or whatever your political view, i hope -- i hope you pass those along to your employees. nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business. because i think that will figure in to their election decision. >> romney's right about one thing. there's nothing illegal about telling your employees who to vote for. the citizens united case opened
that door. legal analysts say before citizens united, your employer could not force you to give money to a pac or show up at a political event. now they can. again, there is no federal law to stop your boss from using high-pressure tactics to score votes for their favorite candidate. this is the first presidential election since the citizens united case and lots of bosses are discovering this new political power in the workplace. we've been telling you about them here on "the ed show" for weeks. david siegel, richard lacks of the koch brothers admitted to sending letters to employees telling them to vote for romney. robert murray accused of forcing coal workers to attend this romney rally in ohio. the miners, well, they say they didn't even get paid for it. these examples are part of romney's bigger picture, bigger plan, bigger campaign plan. you heard him on the phone. now he's talking to
conservatives. what do you think they're going to do? tell them to vote for obama? here's -- he's advising basically every boss he knows to tell their employees how to vote. it might be legal, but is it morally correct and is it right? let's bring in john nichols, washington correspondent for "the nation" magazine and author of the book "uprising." great to have you with us. could this impact the election? is it that big? >> yes, absolutely. you have to see it as part of the master plan. why was mitt romney on that call? he's a busy man. he's doing a lot of stuff. why is this so important to go on a call with all sorts of bosses across the country and personally make that ask? because structurally we see television, we hear radio, we see that side of the campaign. this is the under the surface campaign. and a boss can do this in so many ways. you know, one of the things as we think of it, you know, strong arm tactic, we have to do this. you don't have to do it that way.
you can send a letter saying, my view is if mitt romney becomes president we can keep this plant in this small town in ohio, this small town in iowa, this small town in wisconsin. >> the influence. >> that's powerful. the boss can't follow you in the polling place but he can scare you. >> what about the organization that set up that conference call? >> the nfib. and national federation of independent business. this is the interesting thing about them. they do a lot of independent expenditures in campaigns. i looked today at open secrets, how their spending is done. they haven't spent any money in favor of any democrats. spent their money in favor of republicans or attacking democrats. he knew who he was talking to. >> we haven't seen mitt romney's details when it comes to taxes but he sure has millionaires and billionaires flocking to him, getting on conference calls and lining his pockets. >> absolutely. and, you know, when the people who go on this call, you can bet who are folks who are already highly engaged. one of the most important things he said in that conversation,
there's nothing illegal about this. he was basically giving them the cue, this is okay, you can go do it. he will be backed up, i can tell you, by other folks coming to contact him and, yeah, this is how to do it. >> this is really a form of intimidation. and this is now legal. i mean, you know, the job market is tight. you know, job security is an issue with a lot of employees in this country. and it really keeps, i think, people from speaking up in the workplace because they're afraid that they might, something they say might be heard and be taken in a different way and the next thing you know they're on the outs. is that a farfetched scenario? >> how can it be farfetched? what have these people spent the last many years doing? attacking public employee unions, right to work laws, trying to get the unions out of the workplace. why do you want to have collective bargaining? why do you want a union? so somebody's in there to represent you when dealing with the boss. when there is no union it can get scary. >> john nichols, should there be a law protecting this? >> we've had trouble getting
basic labor law passed. what i think there should be is, i would just like to see mitt romney step up and say, i don't want any bosses telling people how to vote. this is the united states of america. i shouldn't have done that call. and i want -- i want everybody to go to the polls as jefferson and madison and all of our great leaders intended to cast your honest vote without intimidation. >> john nichols, we will see you tomorrow night in freeport, illinois. doing the job for the workers. still to come on "the ed show," romney's allies are still complaining about candy crowley. but she was just doing her job, as i see it. chris kofinis and ron christie with will join me for that decision. what's the uproar all about? and we'll bring you the 2012 al smith charity dinner live here on msnbc. both president obama and mitt romney will be trying to appeal to voters by, you know, cracking a few jokes and being lighthearted. see how it goes over. you're not going to want to miss that. stay with us. we're right back.
and we are back. welcome back to "the ed show." right wing complaints about debate moderator candy crowley haven't stopped. >> for most of the play john wilkes booth sat there lightly but it was the moment when he didn't that made history. i thought this was the definitive point in this debate. this is exactly what moderators are not supposed to do. this is the one thing you fear they might do which is to change the trajectory. >> obviously it's insane to compare candy crowley to a man who assassinated abraham lincoln but i guess there's a larger point here. this campaign season we have seen the culture of lies invade the debate arena like never before. candy crowley is a journalist and has been for years and was acting on an instinct to correct the record. here's the moment. >> you said in the rose garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror? it was not a spontaneous demonstration. is that what you're saying? >> please proceed, governor.
>> i want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in benghazi an act of terror. >> get the transcript. >> he did, in fact, sir. let me call it an act of -- >> can you say that a little louder, candy? >> he did call it an act of terror. it did, as well, take -- it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. you're correct about that. >> you know, my issue with this, has the truth left the building? if mitt romney had said, you know what, president, you nuked north korea last week and we got a heck of a mess on our hands, should the moderator correct that? i mean, i really do believe that, yes, there are rules in a debate, and, yes, there is a function for the moderator. but the truth can't leave the building. and correcting the record, i think, is important. why do television stations around the country carry a debate? because it's a public service.
it's probably part of their licensing. a public service, there can also be a disservice when the record is not corrected in front of millions of americans. i think she did exactly what she had to do, followed her instinct. she's been a journalist for a long time and an excellent one and corrected the record. that's the way i see it. for more, let's turn to democratic strategist chris kofinis and republican strategist ron christie. gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight. ron, what's the uproar all about? i mean, she's just sitting there correcting the record. >> oh, she's not just sitting there correcting the record. she interjected herself in a debate under the rules of the debate, of understanding, that she was only supposed to ask simple follow-up questions. as a journalist, you know this, ed. you're only supposed to inject yourself to move the debate along. she defended the president. she defended the president's record. oh, actually governor romney, you're wrong. she cut him off 28 times. she only cut the president off nine times. what she did i thought was a very, very wrong thing for being a journalist. >> i'm going to cut off ron
right now because here's the part where, one, if you're complaining after debate about the moderator, you did not win the debate. that is pretty obvious. and i think the reality here for the romney campaign is they're frustrated. i think they went in with a game plan that he didn't execute. they thought they would be able to build on the first debate which everyone agrees that romney did well and the president didn't. and they thought they were going to be able to do it again. they didn't. he fell i think a couple of times on key moments. on libya, it was his mistake. what the moderator was doing, in fact, is saying the obvious that the president did say those words. if romney wanted a follow-up, romney should have been better prepared in terms of what exactly happened those two weeks. >> ron mentioned the rules. didn't mitt romney break the rules by asking the president a question? >> no, he didn't break the rules by asking a question. those two gentlemen were sparring. that's what the american people want to see, the two candidates having -- >> it was in the rules not to do that. if you and i were debating we couldn't ask each other a question. >> by the way -- >> hang on a second, chris.
here's the difference, ed. the difference is the two candidates, yes, they had the understanding, they had the rules. they were going at it which i think the american people understood and appreciated the fact they were having an honest dialogue. >> don't the american people want the truth? >> the american people do want the truth. the american people have not gotten the truth from this president. >> wait a second. >> let me finish. chris, let me finish this. wait, wait, wait. you had your second. chris, hang on a second. >> he made -- governor romney made a mistake. can you admit he made a mistake? >> no, he did not make a mistake. >> he did make a mistake. >> this administration made a mistake, chris. the fact of the matter is -- >> in terms of what he was attacking the president on in the debate, he was factually wrong. >> this actually, former governor of massachusetts was factually right. the fact of the matter is, ed, let me state this very clearly. >> yep. >> the governor said, mr. president, a fact you came out in the rose garden the next day on 12th and said an act of terror but weren't specifically -- >> he didn't go far enough in the verbiage. >> he didn't go far enough. >> i don't think he said act of terror. >> the president did say act of terror.
the president absolutely did say act of terror. >> but mitt romney didn't say act of terror. >> no, the president was corrected by governor romney, saying you weren't speaking specifically about benghazi. >> we're now word smithing, we're now dissecting and coming to a determination as to whether the president actually admitted that it was a terrorist attack or not. that's where the criticism is. >> no, no, that's not where the criticism is. this is not a partisan issue for me, ed. and chris. this should be, the president of the united states and the administration -- >> i get that, ron. but it seems to be a partisan issue for mitt romney because of the way he reacted within 12 hours of what happened without all of the information. he was putting a label on all of this which i think is dangerous. but candy crowley, why is she being criticized? the truth matters. chris? doesn't the truth matter? >> of course it matters. i mean, the end of the day here, this is, again, this is republican, i think, frustration with what they thought was going to happen in this debate. and what they thought was going to be an ability to attack the
president on libya. they weren't successful. and they can sit there and can attack candy crowley all they want. the reality is what the president said and what romney attacked the president about was wrong. >> here's megyn kelly on fox news. let's watch this. here it is. >> declaring something an act of terror does not necessarily mean you're declaring it a terror attack. any act that's going to kill our ambassador in the fashion could be described as an act of terror. that's not necessarily the same as declaring it a terrorist attack. >> well, we're word smithing in my opinion. i think the president was very clear. you don't buy that. >> i don't. here's why, i was in the white house on 9/11. i think terrorism is not a partisan issue. >> sure. >> i think this is a very, very serious issue that we're dealing with. i think the american people weren't leveled with by this administration. i think the president would have been very smart to have come out and said immediately this was an act of terror, this was an act of terrorism -- >> they didn't have all the information. they have said they didn't have all the -- >> come on. the national counterterrorism
center said that this 24 hours later was an act of terrorism. i think this is a cover-up. i think this is more significant than watergate. no one died in watergate. >> you cannot say that. >> of course i can say that. >> you cannot say that on national tv that it's a cover-up with no evidence of anything like that. you can argue the administration didn't handle this well but you cannot say it was a cover-up. that is a sinister agenda. >> no, sinister agenda, look, my friend, i will say this to you. the united states ambassador to the united nations came out on five different television shows that sunday and said it all related to the video. 17 days later the administration -- >> that is, again, not correct. >> hang on a second. you're sounding like the president. they came out 17 days later. terrorist attack. >> ambassador rice qualified what she said. listen to her comments. qualified it made it clear they didn't have the information. >> gentlemen, we have to go. as far as politicizing terror, dick cheney said we -- >> you have to do your dick cheney, ed. >> he went on the campaign trail and said if you don't vote for
us again we're going to get hit again. you didn't write that, ron. he said that off the cuff. great to have you with us. chris kofinis and ron christie tonight. coming up, conservative economist ben stein hops on the curvy couch and talks taxes and leaves the folks at "fox & friends" stunned. you're going to want to see this. stay with us.
coming up next ben stein tells his friends at "fox & friends" just the real hard truth of it all, you need to raise taxes on the rich to fix this economy. we'll have the details. in the big finish, the candidates will take the stage at the al smith charity dinner later tonight. i'll ask jonathan alter if charm could have an effect on voters. coming up. stay with us.
host, ben stein, has seen the light when it comes to taxes. now let's go back. here's what he said back in 2010. >> what i don't get is this. there is no known economic theory under which raising my taxes in the mist of is severe recession will help the economy recover. it isn't part of any well-known keynesianist theory. if it does no good to raise our taxes i assume we're being punished. >> a punishment? that sounds fox news friendly, but today he took a seat on the curvy couch and pulled a complete 180. >> what is the way in which we fix the economy with entitlements, spending, taxes, how do you see it? >> i hate to say this on fox, i hope i'll be allowed to leave here alive. but i don't think there's any way we can cut spending enough to make a meaningful difference. we're going to have to raise taxes on very, very rich people. people with incomes of like, say, $2 million, $3 million, $4 million a year and up and slowly, slowly, slowly move it down. $250,000 a year, that's not a
rich person. >> you don't think washington just has a spending problem? >> i do not think they just have a spending problem. partly a spending problem but also a too low taxes problem. with all due respect to fox and my brothers and sisters -- >> oops. ben stein wasn't sticking to the fox news talking points. he didn't take the bait when steve doocy desperately tried to steer him toward the idea that washington just has a spending problem and that's it. stein apologized for telling the truth. that's how it is on fox. facts don't matter. when someone brings them up, they just can't handle it. survey tonight, i asked you, does mitt romney lack respect for the president? 97% of you say yes. 3% of you say no. coming up, the 2012 al smith charity dinner is just moments away. both president obama and mitt romney will be trying to win voters by cracking jokes. msnbc political analyst jonathan alter will weigh in next. stay with us.
and in the big finish tonight, we're awaiting speeches by president obama and mitt romney at the al smith charity dinner here in new york city. every four years both presidential candidates typically attend the event. president obama and mitt romney will both speak tonight. and it should be an opportunity for both of them to have a good laugh. everybody can use that. candidates normally take a lighthearted tone at this dinner poking fun at themselves and their opponents.
here's some of what happened back in 2008. >> began so long ago with a heralded arrival, a man known to oprah winfrey as the one. being a friend and colleague of barack, i just called him that one. he even has a pet name for me. george bush. >> it is an honor to be here with al smith. i obviously never knew your great-grandfather, but from everything that senator mccain has told me, the two of them had a great time together before prohibition. so. there was a point in my life when i started palling around with a pretty ugly crowd. i've got to be honest. these guys were serious deadbeats. they were low lives. they were unrepentant. no good punks. that's right. i've been a member of the united states senate. come to think of it, john, i swear i saw you at one of our
meetings. >> the dinner is hosted by the archdiocese of new york and all proceeds go to charities helping needy children. let's bring in jonathan alter, msnbc political analyst and columnist for "bloomberg view." this offers up a very interesting opportunity for both candidates. but i think we all know that there's a real rub between the two candidates unlike there was between mccain and obama. >> you think? >> how's this going to play out? >> well, this is going to be fascinating because later on john mccain started to resent barack obama. but interestingly, during that campaign, they were former colleagues from the senate. or actually at the time colleagues from the senate. and they respected each other. and you can even see that in some of their debates. but these two guys do not respect or like each other. in fact, i would say they not so cordially detest one another. so they will have to be acting tonight when they're seeming friendly.
and we'll see whether there's a little extra edge to some of the humor that builds on what we saw in that second debate. it was about the most hostile debate we've ever seen. >> yeah, it was. is this a night where the president needs to take the high road no matter what? >> yeah. i mean, it's a light evening. you know? and you're not expected to actually land real blows or score real points. but this is where the skill of the joke writers comes in. you know, can he break through the media clatter with something that also advances his message? and we'll see whether he does. it's all being scripted for him. the votes that they're after here, the people that pay the closest attention to the al smith dinner, i went four years ago, are catholic voters. neither of these candidates is a catholic but they both have catholic running mates and the catholic vote is very much up for grabs and they're both gunning hard for it. >> how big of opportunity is this for mitt romney?
>> well, i think he is always in need for humanizing himself more. >> which he's lacking. >> this has been a real problem for him, just relating to people. so if he can deliver a, you know, a better than expected performance, get some real laughs, show that he can play in this kind of arena, that's a plus for him. we know that barack obama can do this because he's done it at the white house correspondence dinner several time and he'll perform. >> he knows how to handle this crowd, no question about it. here's george w. bush at the 2000 al smith dinner. here it is. >> this is an impressive crowd, the haves and the have mores. some people call you the elite. i call you my base. >> what do you think? >> first of all, i love the white tie. black tie is not good enough for these folks. and it's -- it's all about the timing of the delivery.
and, you know, bush has a good sense of humor in private. obama has a good sense of humor in private. we're told that mitt romney does, but they always say that, the handlers do. tonight we're going to find out because if you can't tell a joke in public, you're probably not so great at telling one in private. i shouldn't talk, because i can't tell one in private. >> president obama already taped an episode of "the daily show" today. what will his new york city comedy tour do for him if anything? >> "the daily show" tour is base solidifying. you know, that's part of his base. younger viewers. younger voters who watch "the daily show" and "the colbert report." you know, he needs to do well with them. generally letterman, these other entertainment shows, are a big plus for obama. >> jonathan alter, great to have you with us on "the ed show." al smith dinner, always a great one. reminder, tomorrow night i'm going to be reporting on this program from freeport, illinois,